Story connections between Peppa Pig, Winnie the Pooh, Pixar’s Soul & Beatrice and the London Bus
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- Published on Tuesday, 22 December 2020 11:05
- Last Updated on 22 December 2020
- Monica Costa
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00What do Peppa Pig, Winnie the Pooh, Pixar’s Soul & Beatrice and the London Bus have in common? Well, a lot actually.
In 2015 I came across a fun, witty, humorous inspiring children’s book series set in London titled Beatrice and the London Bus (Volume one, two and three) written by Francesca Lombardo and published by Daily Fairy Tales, a little London-based, independent publisher. I immediately fell in love with it and felt compelled to include the children’s book series in London Mums’ list of the top ten children’s books about London. Beatrice is a contemporary Alice in Wonderland, who makes her dream of driving a London Bus, but not just any bus, the only talking London Bus in London that people with a special gift can hear talking, come true. As the two drive around the city every Sunday, he introduces her to a world of famous speaking buildings, London most famous landmarks, that all have their desire, secret wishes, and problems and Beatrice will resolve many of their problems but also will make some of their dreams come true!
The author Francesca Lombardo is a visionary in a way as her first Beatrice and the London Bus novel was published in 2015. Afterwards we have seen major brands like Winnie the Pooh (2018), Peppa Pig (in 2017), and most recently Pixar’s Soul (2020) proposing some of the themes and storylines that were already developed in Beatrice and the London Bus. This can only mean one thing: when the big guys of kids’ storytelling somehow go parallel or tap along, as we believe in this case, with a small independent book series, this Beatrice and the London Bus has proven its huge marketability.
Now let’s get down to the similarities I have spotted between Beatrice and the London Bus and some of the storylines developed later by the big brands. Peppa Pig goes to London was published in 2017 and Chapter 7 Another Royal Invitation (Volume) of Beatrice and the London Bus – The Secrets of London was published two years earlier.
In this chapter, Beatrice receives another Royal Invitation from the Queen of England herself to go to ASCOT Racehorse. Beatrice and her Routemaster Bus friend happily agree to the Queen’s key request that she gets on the Bus with them and even drives the Bus to Windsor. And so here is the Queen, assisted by the Routemaster Bus and followed by her trail of Guards, driving through London with Beatrice and other little friends, Pepe the cat, the Butler and the Annoying ugly fly!
In the Peppa Pig Goes to London book, Peppa Pig invites the Queen on a drive on a Routemaster Bus and his little friends and they all happily driving through London! Surely this cannot be a coincidence. It personally bothers me as the big brands always win while the originality of the independent publishers does not even receive recognition.
Another beloved and classic kids brand, Winnie the Pooh, in 2018 came up with a London edition with Winnie the Pooh goes London. Guess? Winnie the Pooh goes about London as well and the theme of embarking on a tour of the city and discovering his landmarks, and even meeting the Queen comes back.
And now let’s talk about human souls that exit the human body and re-enter it to make the life of the body’s inhabitant more inspiring so they can make them appreciate life’s gifts better. This is the storyline of Chapter, 8 of Volume 2 of Beatrice and the London Bus – The Conquest of London (2016) titled A SWEET SMELLING TALE.
Beatrice goes on a visit to the CITY of London, where she knows people make money, not just for a living but for the very sake of it, and humps into a little lost creature, she is the little Small Voice or better the Captain of other Still Small Voices. They all have lost their home. What was your home? Asks Beatrice, people’s hear, she says. We lost our homes, as people’s hearts have hardened up and we can’t live there anymore. But if we can’t live there anymore, people lose the joy of living and gratitude, and they become greedy and sad. The Little Small Voice and her friends are trying to get back into people’s hearts to make their life better and make them happy again. In a few words to marshmallow them.
Remarkably, five years later, in the latest Pixar film Soul that was released in October 2020, we have seen the recurring theme and storyline of souls, which remind me of little flames shape, that fall out of human bodies (allegedly death and going to the afterlife) to re-enter the body of the human (the protagonist) to make him better appreciate the gifts of life. I couldn’t help myself but see a parallel between the two storylines. In Soul by Disney Pixar, there is also a maverick Magician character that reminds me of the remarkable Magicians with a Thousand Hats of Beatrice and the London Bus books, a side-kick character that plays an important role in Beatrice and the London Bus’s adventures. I don’t want to be controversial, but I am a bit disappointed of the lack of originality of the big brands who seem to become masters of research rather than masters of brand new stories.
To wrap it up, I can say that Beatrice and the London Bus has anticipated so many storylines ideas that I have then found in some big brands’ storytelling. I cannot help myself but hoping to see Beatrice and the London bus turned into a TV Series, who knows… Maybe Netflix, maybe Amazon? If an independent children’s book series can inspire such big brands is just about right to say that Beatrice and the London Bus should deserve the attention of the big studios and tv networks to make one!
Since London Mums ‘discovered’ this little gem, everybody has copies its ideas …. Let’s acknowldge talent, big guys! Come on!
In case you are interested!
A BIT MORE ABOUT BEATRICE’ S STORY!
Beatrice is a wizard in her rights because of her powerful and staunch belief in making her dreams come true and in her ability to be unconventional. Everybody in her class wants to be a rock star, a film star, a footballer. She wants to be a bus driver instead and turn the model of a bus into a real talking bus and drive around her city to discover the world and learn about life. Beatrice’s emotional intelligence let her easily tap into the complicated world’ of the grown-ups’ likes, dislikes, fortunes, misfortunes, frustrations, and secrets dream wishes. She helps them make some of their dreams come true (the Queen of England) or solve one of their problems (The Major of London). Beatrice and the London Bus also reminds me of a modern Alice in Wonderland. Thanks to her Bus friend, Routemaster, 168 Via Waterloo, she discovers a parallel world where the most famous London Buildings come to life. Not only they can talk but they have feelings, secrets wishes, and often squabbles with the Mayor of London.
You can purchase the series on Amazon:
And the All in one edition, 2018!
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums